Meet Paul Ianson

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Being a kid wasn’t easy not by a long shot. I was put in homes and had soup rammed down my mouth and I was locked in cupboards. This really affected me as a kid big time. My dad was an alcoholic always very angry always physically and physcologically and verbally abusive to my mum and us. This was scary . My mum left us when I was 11, which destroyed me. My dad got worse taking it out on us and I grew up a scared and lonely kid who had no guidance so I rebelled against everyone always wanted to be someone else’s kid. 

I left school at the age 12 just started getting into crime, and I moved to Blackpool when I was 18 in case my mum got back in touch. The worse mistake I made came when I was in and out of trouble all the time. I found a new best friend when I started selling drugs and taking them. It gave me the comfort I had been looking for so I thought, but it made my life worse always being in and out of jail and taking drugs for 23 years. I abused my body but deep inside I know it wasn’t what I wanted. 

However, the day I walked in to St Andrew’s I found the love I’d always craved. Something happened that day I found God even though he’d always been there. Until then I couldn’t let him in till I’d given everything up. This is the best thing I ever did because I love Jesus and God loves me. 

I started Celebrate Recovery (CR) at Church. I didn’t feel I was worthy enough to speak to people who went to church, I classed myself as an addict and I thought I was lower than them.  When I first came to the church I heard about CR and I thought it sounded like the thing for me, I had been to other fellowships but this seemed to offer something different.  Because it was with Christians it sounded like a safe place to be.

When I first went along to CR I was like a little scared mouse, I wouldn’t say boo to a goose.  Because of my low self-esteem I wouldn’t speak to anyone but over time the people there helped me to speak and I got more confident.  I think it helped being around people who weren’t judging me.  And now I do feel worthy to be around others.

I’ve changed so much since starting CR.  My confidence has increased loads, I can speak in front of people now, I even did some step 11 teaching in front of everyone – for someone who didn’t think he was worthy to be around others, to go to teaching others is unbelievable to me.  I recently got baptised as a way of saying just how much I have changed.

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